Are veneers painful?

When considering porcelain veneers, many people worry that there may be some pain involved in the application process. This is only natural, as getting veneers fitted usually requires some removal of the tooth enamel to allow the new “shells” to fit neatly in place without any protrusion.

So, do veneers hurt?


Removal of Material

A dental bur is usually utilised to remove only a very small amount of enamel from the front of the tooth to be treated – sometimes as little as 0.2 or 0.3 mm. With this minimal level of interference in the tooth structure, no nerves will be touched – and so there should be no pain at all. There may be a little discomfort due to the sensation of the bur at work, but this should not last beyond the procedure itself. On rare occasions and in special cases, veneers can be fitted with no enamel removal at all, which means there will be no discomfort whatsoever.


To be on the safe side, most dentists will inject a local anaesthetic into the gums surrounding the tooth they will be working on before they begin a procedure. This will completely numb the area, meaning that no pain will be felt, and the only element of discomfort – aside from a small sting from the injection – will be due to the slight feeling of pressure. For nervous patients, other techniques such as the use of nitrous oxide may be employed on request – though this is more to calm the recipient.

Are veneers painful - Harley Street Smile Clinic


Teeth may feel a little sensitive in the time between enamel removal and the application of the veneers, but this is usually remedied by the recipient being fitted with a temporary set to protect their mouth during this brief period.


Oral Health

There will be no interference with the gums or soft tissue at any point in the procedure, so you should experience no pain in this area either. However, as with any dental procedure, it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums, as there is still the chance for infections to take hold. Follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter when cleaning your teeth throughout – and after – the veneer application process.

For more information about dental veneers or other procedures, simply call the Harley Street Smile Clinic today on 020 7486 6777. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Are veneers painful? - Harley Street Smile Clinic

Expert cosmetic dentists in America were asked what they thought.  Here’s what they had to say:

Discomfort from Porcelain Veneers

Anytime a tooth is reduced with a dental bur the potential for some transient discomfort exists. The beauty of Porcelain Veneers is often as little at .3 mm reduction is needed to accomplish the goal and the tooth does not react. No-Prep Veneers are also available for selected situations which result in zero discomfort.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS, Memphis Cosmetic Dentist

Veneers should not be painful

Porcelain veneers are one of the most conservative treatments we have in dentistry. Local injections are recommended just because everyone’s sensitivity level varies. In the many cases I have done over the years, patients are very comfortable since most of the preparation of the tooth is at gum level and not below. Therefore, with proper temporaries and hygiene, the gum tissue should not get sore nor do the teeth get sensitive.

Jennifer Jablow, DDS, New York Cosmetic Dentist


No pain should be associated with Porcelain veneers

The placement of porcelain veneers is actually one of the most conservative treatments performed in modern dentistry.  We can achieve ultra-thin veneers (even down to about 0.2mm thick).   Thus, no pain should be attributed to having porcelain veneers placed.  There are exceptions to that, in my experience with placing over 5000 veneers. 1. Replacement of old crowns with metal underneath them –  Lots of times we do a lot of smile makeovers from people who want to replace their outdated…

Peter Boulden, DMD, Atlanta Cosmetic Dentist

Some soreness and or sensitivity is normal

Veneer therapy involves: 1. Preparation of the teeth and placement of temporary veneers. 2. Cementation of the permanent veneers, anywhere from the same day to as long as two weeks later. During the procedure, there should be no pain involved.  Before the start of the procedure, a local anaesthetic is administered.  Some of my patients request nitrous oxide which helps with anxiety and relaxes them.

Ryan Sellinger, DMD, Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

Are veneers painful? - Harley Street Smile Clinic

Dental veneers

The process of placement of veneers requires tooth reduction and removal in most cases unless you have small skinny teeth and you want to make them bigger and close gaps. Therefore you need to be numb. After the procedure, you should feel minimal discomfort. I premadicate my patients with a prescription prior to the appointment, especially if I am doing more than 4 veneers at a time. This makes it very comfortable during and after the procedure.

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS, Orange County Cosmetic Dentist

Prep, placement & post-op veneer work should be comfortable

Ideally, you should feel very numb and comfortable during both your preparation as well as your placement visit when you have your veneers done. Once the anaesthetic wears off, you may have a little tenderness but it is usually easily handled with a couple of advil or tylenol. I would say that if you are phobic, you may want to choose porcelain over bonding as porcelain will last longer and therefore, need fewer follow up visits throughout your lifetime. …

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD, Chicago Cosmetic Dentist


Veneers and Pain

Porcelain veneers require reduction of the tooth. The more reduction of the tooth structure, may result in pain and inflammation. Anaesthetic is used for this procedure along with oral sedation if the patient is very anxious. Remember when you have veneers placed, this is NOT a reversible process!  Make sure you find a good cosmetic dentist. Ask questions and get the answers!  Look at Before and After photos of the dentist’s patients.  Look for patient testimonials on his or her website!

Robert Fields, DDS, Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist

Are veneers painful? - Harley Street Smile Clinic

Veneers are a painless process

Minimal pain during the giving of local anaesthesia. It’s a painless process as soon as anaesthesia takes effect, but no discomfort should be felt throughout the procedure.

Benjamin S. Fiss, DDS

Perception is reality

Most of my patients report zero pain during the process, yet sometimes a person will report pain JUST from walking through the front door.  While the veneer process is mostly painless, it is still dental surgery.  We are very conservative when we work, but some cases require aggressive preparation.  Some makeovers are so extreme (severe crowding, broken down teeth requiring root canal therapy, extraction of root tips, etc) that some discomfort should be expected.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, Seattle Cosmetic Dentist

Veneers are painless if your dentist knows what he or she is doing

Proper choice of cosmetic dentist is the most important thing you can do to make sure your smile is beautiful and comfortable. Make sure your dentist is credentialed/awarded, takes a lot of continuing education, and ready to show you hundreds of smile examples successfully completed by the dentist (not photos he bought from a cosmetic dentistry company). Interview (consult) more than one cosmetic dentist first.

Susan Goode Estep, DMD, Atlanta Cosmetic Dentist

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